Brutal dispersal of
protesters in “Occupy Mendiola” during HR week: Exposes Aquino’s state
fascism to the people’s just demands
QUEZON CITY – Human
rights advocates in Southern Tagalog (ST) headed by Karapatan-ST
expressed condemnation to what has happened yesterday when police
forces brutally dispersed mostly youth protesters geared for “Occupy
“It is ironic for such
a clear-cut violation of human rights to happen exactly during the
Human Rights week and days before our commemoration of United Nation’s
International Declaration of Human Rights,” Glen Malabanan, deputy
secretary general of Karapatan-ST stressed. She said that this only
shows how the Aquino government blatantly disrespects the people’s
just demands and is no different from the previous Arroyo
administration’s use of state fascism as the only answer to the
with Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN-ST) and other militant groups
in the region are currently in their 3rd day of the Human Rights
Cultural Caravan. The caravan has arrived two days ago in the
provinces of Quezon, Batangas and Cavite and will now proceed to
Laguna and Rizal. On Dec. 9, the caravan is to set-foot and culminate
in Mendiola to expose the human rights violations of Aquino’s Oplan
Bayanihan counter-insurgency program.
“We are doing our part
here to educate and uplift the political consciousness of the people
with regards to upholding their basic human rights and yet we see that
Aquino and his state forces themselves are ignorant to such rights,”
Meanwhile, Leo “XL”
Fuentes, secretary general of BAYAN-ST expressed similar sentiments to
what had happened in Morayta yesterday, saying that the 1987
Philippine Constitution clearly states that the people have the right
to air their grievances to the government whenever they deem that it
is no longer able to address societal concerns.
“What should Aquino
expect from the people when just less than 2 years into office, we
have already seen the biggest cuts in budget for social services –
such as education and health – in Philippine history?” he asked.
Fuentes narrated the
various human rights violations in Southern Tagalog on different
sectors which includes land-grabbing and land-use conversion in rural
areas; union-busting, low wages and contractualization among workers.
The region has also experienced 13 political killings under the Aquino
regime which includes Celito Baccay, union leader of the Solidarity of
Cavite Workers, Kenneth Reyes, baranggay captain in Lemery and
Chairperson of BAYAN-Batangas, Caloy Rodriguez, union leader of
Calamba Water District and even a youth-leader, Lester Barrientos from
the Southern Tagalog Cultural Network.
“If Aquino will
continue with this character of violence to those who are yearning for
genuine change, it won’t be long before the people will wish him
behind bars – just like Arroyo – for perpetuating this culture of
impunity,” Fuentes stressed.
the cultural caravan is the 5th day of the hunger strike of political
prisoners in Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan and Batangas City Provincial
Jail. The hunger strike aims to press Aquino’s government to drop all
fabricated charges and free the all political prisoners in the country
51 of which are from the Southern Tagalog region.